Texas Architect Nov/Dec 2007: Sacred Space
Texas Architect is the official publication of the Texas Society of Architects, each edition features recently completed projects and other editorial content largely written by AIA members in Texas. That collective participation was the basis of Texas Architect’s recognition by the national AIA with a 2010 Institute Honor for Collaborative Achievement.
Site Plan (left) 1 Chapel 2 Residential Units 3 Administration 4 Offices 5 day care 6 Family life 2 3 4 3 Chapel Floor Plan (right) 1 Chapel 2 Court 3 Entry Canopy 2 2 5 2 6 1 1 r e s o u r c e s stained concrete : KC Concrete; pre-fabricated structural wood : James Hardie Building Products; pre- fabricated wood joints and trusses : Protech; metal roofing : Mangold Roofing Photo Courtesy Craig Blackmon, FAIA Inspired by Faith Just as iconographic images undergird the simplicity of the Bunny Raba Chapel, Marmon Mok’s Dreeben Pavilion (shown at right) at San Antonio’s oldest Jewish congregation, Temple Beth-El, draws its inspiration from both its immediate context and from broader Jewish symbolism. The historic structure’s prominent, red-tiled dome is a well-known landmark on the city’s near north side. The Dreeben Pavilion’s reinterpretation of this form, executed in thinshell concrete and standing seam metal, is not literal but clearly related. However, unlike the existing sanctuary, the pavilion, used as a contemplative lounge, is transparent on all but the east elevation, inten- 1 1 / 1 2 2 0 0 7 tionally opening the congregation’s activities to the neighborhood. The north and south walls have crisply detailed, angled storefront systems reminiscent of a menorah or the Tree of Life or even open hands—the exact interpretation is left to the observer. Religious significance again informs the design with a nearly solid limestone-clad eastern wall. Though functionally screening the interior from the visual noise of the adjacent street, the wall’s religious and cultural ties to the East are obvious as is its reference to Jerusalem’s Western Wall—two solid stone walls facing each other, separated only by oceans and time. —Chris Schultz, AIA t e x a s a r c h i t e c t 27